Nevada’s past warns us to prep for disaster |

Nevada’s past warns us to prep for disaster

Ruby McFarland
Dayton Historical Society

California folks who moved here to avoid earthquakes probably should have looked into our frequency better.

In reading Emma Nevada Loftus’ diaries from early in the 20th century through the 1950s, there is an earthquake recorded almost every year, some of which were pretty hard. However, Emma was rather nonchalant about these events, only stating there was a quake then giving its magnitude.

In this end of Nevada, we live on faults running throughout the Eastern Sierra, and it’s not unusual to have tremors now and then. Since I’ve lived in Dayton, there have been three earthquakes that would cause one to say “whoa.” I also have lived in the Bay area and know what big quakes feel like – I’m not fearful of them. What will be, will be.

I do think we can be prepared by keeping a few things in our homes that would fit any catastrophic occurrence, including water, a working flashlight, warm clothing and enough nonperishable food items in a location where you can pick up and go if necessary.

I don’t want to sound like a doomsdayer, but I think we are not as prepared as we could be. It takes so little to set a few things aside. I’m sure people who went through recent tragedies wish they would have had a better plan.

While this isn’t a perfect plan, any preparation taken is better than none. Think about it, where would you meet your loved ones?

Remember, too, history has a way of repeating itself.

The Dayton Museum is on Shady Lane and Logan in Old Town Dayton. It’s also the location of the Dayton Chamber office. It is open during the week at random hours and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays 1- 4 p.m. Check out Group tours are available. Call 246-5543, 246-0462 or 246-0441.

— Ruby McFarland is a 17-year resident of Dayton, a board member of the Dayton Historical Society and a docent at the museum.